I have always loved insights into the creation of art, be it literature, design, architecture, sculpture, film, theatre, music and the many cracks in between.
The Making of a Concerto is a fascinatingly intimate documentary by Chris Eley revealing the differences between a classically trained, virtuoso violinist, Nicola Benedetti and Wynton Marsalis the Pulitzer prize-winning freeform improvisational jazz musician.
Over many months we followed the trials and tribulations during the creation of a new violin concerto penned by Marsalis especially for Benedetti. Both are dedicated to their art with wildly different in personality, Benedetti, open, emotional and vibrant. Marsalis contained, intense and seemingly calm. There are some marvellous moments where their personalities clash. One such was when Benedetti was fretting over a deeply complex section in the score which she was expected to play in a rehearsal but hadn't had enough time to absorb it. "I just don't know it," she says. "Don't worry, just feel it, make it up," says Marsalis. "I can't do that.", Benedetti replies. Thus exposing the differences of their respective musical worlds. There are many wonderful unguarded moments during their collaboration making this documentary so intimate and fascinating.
After many months of dedicated work from Wynton and Benedetti, the concerto, a fusion of African American spiritual, Scottish folk and jazz, was premiered at the Barbican with the LSO conducted by James Gaffigan, the tension was palpable.
It received a standing ovation. At the end of the documentary, Gaffigan said a beautiful thing about the creation of a new work by a composer and its meaning to them...
"You have a child. The child is yours. But then one day that child is going out into the world and that child is going to grow."
Thank God for the BBC. You can see the programme HERE.